Thank you to Julie Snobelen for this writing plan!
Many species spend 15-30 days as a caterpillar. All of that time is spent eating, eating, eating…
With all that eating, caterpillars grow and become too big for their skins. A new skin forms beneath the old one and the outer skin splits open and a bigger, fatter caterpillar wriggles out.
The period between each moult is called an instar. Most caterpillars have between 3-5 instars. Each time they shed their skin, they look a little bit different in appearance, but fundamentally they are still the same.
Attached to each of the second, third, and fourth segments is a pair of legs with a hook used for walking. The fifth and sixth, eleventh and twelfth segments have no legs at all. The other segments usually have claspers which are not real legs but a fleshy part that has a circle of little hooks so that it can fix itself in place and concentrate on eating.
This stage is vitally important to the success of the butterfly. It cannot be rushed through. And the same is true in a spiritual life. Although learning will take place throughout one’s life, there is a great need at the beginning for almost constant consumption.